Mr. Gabriel Faria – Managing Director, Guardian Media Limited
Gabriel Faria, managing director of Guardian Media Ltd (GML), says that digital media in itself cannot bring success to a business, but there must be a product to sell using this platform. “Digital media is not a product. It’s a way to distribute. If you don’t have a product, going digital is not the solution. Facebook has created an environment where people can contribute. We are fortunate in that we have radio, television, print, so we are creating our own aggregator. On Trinidad & Tobago Guardian, media people would view eight million pages a month, there are over a million people online and the average user spends six minutes,” he said.
Faria was speaking yesterday at a panel discussion at the Caribbean Digital Expo at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad hotel, Dock Road, Port-of-Spain. Faria added that GML has devoted resources to ensure optimum use of social media. “Social media allows you participation and a lot of marketers want to get into social media, but they don’t want to invest the time in this. As an organisation, we have people and that’s all they do: create opportunities to connect to consumers. So it’s an environment that has changed.” Faria said businesses and organisations must be aware of the different demographics that exist and who they are targeting.
“There is a market for different age groups and different demographics, but you need to know where your consumer is. The good thing about the combination of traditional and digital media is that you can target your customer.” He pointed out that the GML brand is a strong one and the online statistics bear this out. “We are relatively fortunate in that the brand is a strong brand. Eighty per cent of our users are repeat. They come straight to Guardian Media (Web site), but, yes, they also use Google and other search engines. Be it Google, Facebook, Twitter, you have to have a product, be it Jamaican music or a party or a fete that people want to see. True marketing people understand who the consumer is, what they want,” Faria said.
November 23, 2011